Recently, many of our clients in the hospitality industry have asked about doing online marketing to international customers. Many are excited at the prospect of spreading their marketing out and attracting new customers from overseas. While we do not want to completely deter you, there are a number of things to consider before taking this step.
- Is your travel destination website completely represented in the United States and in the Local Searches? If not, this is much more important than international business.
- Is your tourism website in a GDS? A GDS like Inn Links or Scepter already markets your property or travel business to foreign customers.
- Did you know that the largest segment of international travel from overseas is from Europe? Most Europeans already speak English, especially those who are affluent enough to travel overseas.
- Are you aware that 80% of all websites are written in English? Anyone searching the web expects that they will come across English pages, and either knows how to read English or how to translate the pages themselves.
- Do you want to pay to have your travel website translated by a native speaker? This process, called localization, is best done by someone who spoke the language from childhood.
- Are you ready to buy another domain and pay for hosting on that domain? You probably already own a .com, .net, or .org, but to effectively market to other countries, you need to buy the local domain, such as .de for Germany or .ca for Canada.
- Do you speak the language of those you are marketing to? If a potential Russian client finds a lodging website that is written in Russian, he or she will expect that whoever answers the phone call or e-mail to will be able to converse in that language.
- Did you know that most overseas searchers use google.com, as opposed to Google.de for example, when they are searching for something in the United States? Google.com gives better results for the United States, and foreign customers know this.
- Were you aware that your hospitality website should already show up in searches on international search engines? If your travel website performs well in the top US search engines, you should already appear high in the search engines like Google.de.
- Did you know that Google already has an effective translation service? While it is not completely accurate, it is pretty good
- Last but not least, even though you may get some foreign customers, you will most likely get most of your business from customers in your own country.
Having thought about all of this, are you still interested in strategies to market your travel or tourism destination website internationally? Blizzard is willing and able to help you market your site internationally. Please contact your Promotion Account Manager or Promotion Team for details.